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Issue Details: First known date: 2012... 2012 Sold by the Millions : Australia's Bestsellers
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Australian genre fiction writers have successfully exploited the Australian landscape and peoples and as a result their books are today "sold by the millions" across boundaries. They have created stories that are imaginative, visionary, and diverse. They appeal to local and international readerships and, most importantly, are thoroughly entertaining, thus making them a strong presence in the popular fiction bazaar.
Sold by the Millions: Australia's Bestsellers is the first collection to concentrate on Australia's best-selling material that forms the armchair reading of many Australians. Leading experts of popular fiction provide introspective pieces on Romance, Horror, Crime, Science Fiction, Western, Comics, Travel, Sports and Children's writing so that a wholesome picture emerges of the wide range of reading and research options available for scholars' (Publisher website).


* Contents derived from the Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,
Cambridge Scholars Press , 2012 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Foreword : Sold by the Millions, Amit Sarwal , single work criticism (p. viii-xvi)
Two Centuries of Popular Australian Fiction, Toni Johnson-Woods , single work criticism
'Who is Guy Boothby that Miles Franklin should be advised to 'write like' him, and Rudyard Kipling admire him? Guy Boothby is one of the many best selling Australian authors who is largely forgotten or ignored by literary scholars. Boothby's fiction sold in the millions, he received praise and accolades from their peers but who have largely been overlooked in scholarly accounts of the Australian literature. They suffered from the terminal literary disease, popularity. For reasons unknown popularity is positively correlated with 'trash' and therefore summarily dismissed. This chapter documents one hundred years of Australian popular fiction in an effort to inspire further research and to incite more scholars to consider the merits of genre authors whose material languishes as their sales grow.' (Author's introduction 1)
(p. 1-21)
From British Domination to Multinational Conglomeration? : A Revised History of Australian Novel Publishing, 1950-2007, Katherine Bode , single work criticism
Examining the publishing history of Australian novels based on data from AustLit, Bode distinguishes three phases: British Domination 1950-1970, National Awakening 1970s and 1980s, and Multnational Domination 1990-. Resisting the frequent argument that the book and the book industry are dying, the essay explores 'some of the complex ways in which both novel and industry are Janus-faced: turned to the national and the transnational, the cultural and the commerical' (196).
(p. 22-45)
Britishness and Australian Popular Fiction : From the Mid-Nineteenth to the Mid-Twentieth Centuries, Hsu-Ming Teo , single work criticism
'The analysis offered here is [...], a panoptic perspective of the tangled skeins of literary imagination and imitation, gender and genre requirements, editorial control, market considerations and the sheer economics of the international book trade that knotted Australian popular literature into the cultural and economic fabric of the British empire.' (47)
(p. 46-66)
Heart Strings and Hip Pocket : Garth Nix’s Writings for Children, Young Adults and Adults, Alice Mills , single work criticism
'In any Australian bookshop oriented to the general public, as in Britain and the USA, fantasy books for children and young adults have gained huge increase in shelf space over the past decade; enough fantasy books for these age groups have been published each year in Australia to begin to justify a division on the shelves between realist and fantasy (and, more recently, another division between fantasy and the paranormal) Australian fiction. Fantasy for these age groups ia a major selling category, and the categories for the Aurealis Awards (the premier Australian award for speculative fiction) have been progressively expanded, in the case of children's literature, to five. Fantasy for these age groups is thus a major sector of the Australian market. The ferocity of competition for substantial awards, both monetary and in terms of literary prizes, perhaps explains why some fantasy authors for children and young adults are in the forefront of Australian literary marketing in the first decade of the twenty-first century, Garth Nix being among the most successful in the field. (Authors introduction 67)
(p. 67-81)
The Wide Brown Land and the Big Smoke : The Setting of Australian Popular Romance, Juliet Flesch , single work criticism
'People (90% of them women) often read romance novels to learn about another place (see Radway 60-61). We will consider this with reference to some Australian romance novels published in the last decade. Readers with an interest in those published between 1950-2000 are invited to consult From Australia with Love (2004). Australia's romance novelists know that the vast majority of their readers live outside the country and they take pride in accurately describing both it and 'typically Australian' characters. This chapter will examine how far their portrayal of the natural or built environment reflects Australian reality, although any generalisation is unreliable. There are several dozen Australian currently publishing romance novels. Over the years there have been dozens more. Harelequin Mills & Boon, on whose output this chapter is based, published fifteen titles by Australian authors in February/March 2010 alone and there are of course other publishers.' (Author's introduction 82)
(p. 82-95)
Issues of Class and Gender in Australian Crime Fiction : From the 1950s to Today, Rachel Franks , single work criticism
In this chapter, Rachel Franks notes ‘‘Australian crime fiction writers imported many types of crime fiction from Britain, including the gothic mystery and the Newgate novel, and from America, including the locked room mystery and the spy story.’ She observes how Australian crime fiction has changed along with the ‘societies that produce it.’ She concludes that for Australian crime fiction to be attractive to mass market and an assured popularity, Australian crime fiction writers must respond ‘to the changing demands of their readers,’ and ‘continue to develop the genre with increasingly sophisticated stories about murderers and those who bring them to justice.’ (Editor’s foreword xii)
(p. 96-111)
The Australian Horror Novel Since 1950, James Doig , single work criticism
According to James Doig the horror genre 'was overlooked by the popular circulating libraries in Australia.' In this chapter he observes that this 'marginalization of horror reflects both the trepidation felt by the conservative library system towards 'penny dreadfuls,' and the fact that horror had limited popular appeal with the British (and Australian) reading public.' Doig concludes that there is 'no Australian author of horror novels with the same commercial cachet' as authors of fantasy or science fiction. He proposes that if Australian horror fiction wants to compete successfully 'in the long-term it needs to develop a flourishing and vibrant small press contingent prepared to nurture new talent' like the USA and UK small presses.' (Editor's foreword xii)
(p. 112-127)
The Fiction of the Future : Australian Science Fiction, Russell Blackford , single work criticism
'According to Russell Blackford 'commercial science fiction is the most international of literary forms.' He observes that 'Australian SF continues to flourish, even if it trails heroic fantasy in mass-market appeal.' Australian SF writers although published internationally, with a dedicated fan followings in USA, UK and Europe, were overlooked for a very long time by Australian multinational publishers. The international editions had to be imported and were then distributed in Australia (Congreve and Marquardt 8). Blackford in his chapter throws light on the history of Australian SF and observes how Australian SF writers, with their concern for the future, achieved a powerful synthesis in form and content. The progress of Australian SF, maturity of style in the work of younger writers, and massive worldwide sales make Blackford optimistic as he asserts that 'the best Australian writers in the genre will be prominent players on the world stage.' (Editor's foreword xii-xiii)
(p. 128-140)
Crikey it’s Bromance : A History of Australian Pulp Westerns, Toni Johnson-Woods , single work criticism
‘The Australian version of the Western novel is the subject matter of Toni Johnson-Woods’ chapter. Western as a genre was present in Australia since colonial times – a ‘romance of property’ (Dixon 22). She takes up Len Meares, the man behind Marshall Grover as her case study. Perhaps the most intriguing part of her chapter is the study of book covers, as she argues that ‘books are more than printed codex; they are cultural products with covers, advertising, pricing and distribution.’ For Johnson-Woods, “the covers are semiotically charged marketing tools; the artwork, design and titles emit generic and cultural messages.” Australian Western authors, some of the most prolific authors, have been writing not only for an Australian readership but also for an international one. In conclusion Johnson-Woods laments that “I doubt if you’ll shake their hands or sign their books at writers’ festivals. It is not that they are not likeable people. They are tainted with a fatal literary disease, they’re carriers of the popular fiction virus. And even more condemning, they do not even write ‘respectable’ popular fiction like detective fiction – they write politically incorrect masculinist westerns. Regardless of how literary critics assess their contribution to Australian fiction, they provide hours of entertainment for their many readers.”’ (Editor’s foreword xiii)
(p. 141-161)
The Cultural Economy of the Australian Comic Book Industry, 1950-1985, Kevin Patrick , single work criticism
'This study seeks to reinstate comic books' place in Australian media history by mapping the cultural economy of Australia's comic book industry and exploring the complex interplay between the competing economic, political and cultural forces that shaped the industry during its years of peak production between 1950-1985. Adopting a holistic approach that considers all facets of comic book production, dissemination and consumption, this study will consider the comic book industry's place within David Carter's (1998) framework of an Australian 'magazine culture...' (162)
(p. 162-181)
Armchair Tourism : The Popularity of Australian Travel Writing, Richard White , single work criticism
'Richard White examines the 'uneasy relationship' between the genre of travel writing and the notions of the popular. He considers the way in which 'Australian travel writers negotiated the pitfalls of popularity' and argues that 'a number of Australian writers broke with these conventions and willingly embraced the popular.' He takes Frank Clune and Colin Simpson as case studies to examine how their writing courted a popular mass market in Australia and created a genre where ordinary tourist was hero.' (Editor's foreword xiv)
(p. 182-202)
Available to the Millions : Sports Writing in Australia, Bernard Whimpress , single work criticism
Bernard Whimpress in this chapter ''concentrates on 'popular histories, biographies and autobiographies produced since the World War II, chiefly relating to cricket.' He notes that sports writing in Australia has rarely reached a wide audience and concludes: 'It is regrettable that there are sixteen male writers and no women represented but while a number of women are prominent as daily sports journalists none have gained prominence as sporting authors.'' (Editor's foreword xiv)
(p. 203-216)

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Last amended 13 Dec 2016 08:59:13